Spell It: Crucial Business Decisions Behind Harry Potter’s Incredible Success


A boy with a lightning bolt scar on his forehead. Let me guess – you know his name.

Click start to play today’s Spell It, where we remember ‘longing’ for the next book in the Harry Potter series, at the height of its popularity. You can also check out today’s word search, where you can choose characters from the books.

It’s been 25 years since the first Harry Potter book was published. Since then, the series has triumphed with seven books, eight blockbuster films, 500 million copies sold worldwide and a brand value of $25 billion (Dh91.8 billion), according to the US business website Money.com. The books have even been translated into over 67 languages ​​and led to their author, British writer JK Rowling, becoming the first billionaire author.

But it’s not just good writing that has led to the show’s incredible success. Here are the cogs that fell into place to make the beloved Harry Potter books successful:

1. An editor took a chance on a new writer

Arthur Levine, publisher of children’s books at Scholastics, bought the rights to the Harry Potter series for $105,000 (Dh385,675) after reading the first book. According to a July 2011 report on the US-based business news website Business Insider, he took a chance on then-unknown author Rowling because he found the humor in her funny writing and engaging plot. – and he wanted to know what happened next.

2. Separate book covers to appeal to different crowds

Harry Potter has not only captured the attention of millions of children around the world, adults have also loved reading it. To make sure they don’t have to suffer the embarrassment of reading a book with a childish cover, Bloomsbury Publishing (the UK publishing house that first bought the rights to Rowling’s books) created a second version of the Harry Potter book covers. They were more serious, less colorful, and more appealing to adults.

3. Frenzied Promotion Techniques

By the fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the series had an incredibly loyal fanbase, and the publishers knew how to attract them. Midnight book release parties at bookstores, pre-orders months before the release date, and other promotions created a frenzy around books that had never before been seen in the literary world. The latest book in the series is said to have been the best-selling book in history, according to a report by US-based news publishing platform The New York Times. Over 11 million copies were sold in the first 24 hours, in just three markets.

4. Theme parks galore

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida opened in June 2010, and according to a February 2011 report in local newspaper, Orlando Sentinel, it was enough to boost park attendance by 20%. themed throughout the year. . The theme park remains popular, with tourists and fans shelling out cash for Potter-themed food, rides and souvenirs.

5. The driving force of the author

JK Rowling
Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

JK Rowling’s personal story from poverty to riches, as a single mother formerly living on welfare and trying to survive by writing books, is probably as well known as her books. According to Business Insider, the author is now richer than the Queen of England. Rowling is known to be a shrewd businesswoman who is discerning when it comes to merchandising offerings. She vetoed a Harry Potter Happy Meal from McDonald’s because she decided it was not appropriate for the Harry Potter brand. The move is seen as bold and protective, especially since fast food ties are among brands’ most lucrative methods of merchandising.

Are you a Harry Potter fan? Play Spell It today and let us know at [email protected]

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